“Bath. Bottle. Bed!” The slogan has taken the internet by storm as parents share their night-time routines and best advice for making kiddos nice and sleepy before bedtime. At Goldfish Swim School, our team is full of parents – and really great advice! After all, we have board-certified pediatrician Dr. Molly in our Goldfish family! So, we’re hopping on the trend and sharing our favorite tips and tricks for bath time in honor of National Bath Safety month, and for the sake of 2024 being a great year full of well-rested little fish!

Whether your night ends in swim lessons or a good book, bath time water safety should always be a priority.

It’s all about the preparation! Many of us have adopted the ‘I’d rather do it now than in the morning’ mindset as we’re busy parents that value our sleep! We lay out tomorrow’s clothes for our kids, pack lunches and even set our coffee pots so the smell of tomorrow morning’s coffee will fill the house at the perfect time. Preparation makes routines go more smoothly, and allows us to focus and get out the door (almost!) on time. 

The same theory applies to bath time! We want to keep our full attention on our littles as they get squeaky clean and splash around in the warm water, so we need to prepare! Lay out towels, robes, bath toys and anything else your kiddo loves during and after the bath, so that the adult on-duty can stay within arm’s reach once kiddos are in the tub. All items should be kept nice and close so there’s no need to turn your back to your little one or take your eyes off of them. 

Extra Important Tip: Keep your kiddo’s favorite bath toys out of the water until it’s time to hop in! Having toys floating around any body of  water – even if they’re in a bathtub – can be tempting for our little fish. They’ll want to reach for them and start playtime ahead of schedule, which can be dangerous if your focus isn’t 100% on the tub and your kiddo. 

It’s also helpful to prepare your bathtub with accessories like faucet covers, non-slip mats, floating thermometers, and more that help make sure the tub is as safe as can be for your little fish. The bath tub should be a fun place AND a safe place, and it’s our job as parents to reduce the dangers like burns from hot water, slips and falls from a slippery tub or hand rail, or reaching for toys. 

Fun and safety go hand-in-hand during bath time - be sure to prep everything before your little fish starts splashing away.

Once the room and tub are ready, it’s time to get in! We like to start with running cool water, so the initial splashes of water hitting the tub aren’t hot splashes on our skin. Then we remind our little one as they get lifted into the tub that they need to stay seated until bath time is over. Even with bath mats and non-slip stickers, the tub can be a slippery place!

Tub time is time to be 100% focused on our kiddos in the bath. After all, studies show that accidents can happen in less than two inches of water. It’s important to have our eyes on our kiddos and to not have the chance to get distracted by phones, tablets, or even other children! We like to put our phone in another room and on silent, so we don’t hear alerts and get tempted to check it. It’s also important to be sure other kids are supervised and safe in another space, so our focus can remain on the child in the tub!

Bath time is full of bonding, fun and excitement - set aside the distractions and enjoy the quality time with your kiddo!

When bath time is in full swing, it’s a great time to practice all kinds of skills! You can work on skills your little one has learned in swim lessons, like back floats and blowing bubbles. This is also a FINomenal opportunity to help them get more comfortable in the water with water cups, interactive toys and strainers. You can even get fun letter and number toys to help older kiddos work on reciting them and making words, or special bath time toy sets for your littlest fish like the ones from our partner, LEGO® DUPLO®!

Extra Important Tip: Bath time should be FUN! Take the time to talk to your child, engage with them, and make the experience swimsational! It’s great one-on-one time between yourself and your little, and the perfect opportunity for a GOLDEN bonding experience! 

Bath time. Towel. Bedtime. It's crucial to do a thorough clean-up after your little one is out of the tub.

When the fun ends and the water gets chilly, it’s time to get out! We like to get our littles out of the bath, drain the tub immediately, then get our kiddo dried off and settled in another space – either sound asleep in their bed or with another adult – before cleaning up the bathroom. Once our little one is dry and cozy, cleaning up is a breeze! We throw all of the toys into a toy basket and toss the towels and washcloths into the laundry. Just like that, the bathroom is cleaned up and we’re ready for our very own bedtime routine!

Though we know everyone’s routines are a little different, we hope these tips and tricks make your bath time as safe as can be and extra fun – for you and your kiddos!